Independent Investigations of Abuse - Part 1

Part 1 of a two-part series exploring how independent schools and school boards have historically handled sexual abuse investigations, how investigations of independent schools have evolved over the past five years, and how transparent schools should be when disclosing sexual abuse. Your host Jamie Forbes, the founder and CEO of Learning Courage, will speak with two wonderful and very generous attorneys: Mary Beth Hogan and Hailyn Chen.

Topics covered:

- What does it mean for a society to expect that institutions will be transparent in releasing the findings of an investigation into historic sexual abuse or sexual misconduct?
- What happens when the school wants to be the one communicating the findings of an investigation?
- Find out what schools can do to restore the trust of survivors of sexual abuse.
- What happens when there is not full disclosure by schools?
- The challenges of historic abuse cases before the time of digital record keeping.
- When investigators talk with friends or relatives, how does a survivor decide whether to come forward or not.
- How law enforcement agencies and police departments across the country can adopt trauma-informed interviewing practices.
- How the relationships of the school board with respected teachers and administrators can impact investigations, and how everyone concerned should maintain confidentiality.

Episode guests:

Attorney Hailyn Chen 

Hailyn Chen is a litigation partner at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP.  Since 2019, Hailyn has served as one of two firmwide Managing Partners of MTO, which comprises around 200 lawyers, with offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.  Her practice focuses on complex litigation, internal and government investigations, and crisis management. 

Hailyn has extensive experience handling sexual misconduct and sexual abuse matters, including representing the University of California and other universities in internal investigations, government investigations, and litigation. She has also represented companies in a broad range of industries in internal investigations and government investigations involving alleged fraud, corruption, and abuse. Hailyn was recently recognized for her work with The Thacher School, leading an investigation into decades of sexual abuse at the elite boarding school. Hailyn J. Chen (

Attorney Mary Beth Hogan

Mary Beth Hogan is Co-Chair of Debevoise & Plimpton’s Litigation Department. She has a broad-gauged litigation and investigations practice that focuses on sensitive investigations for educational institutions, corporations and other organizations, including board-directed independent investigations of sexual abuse or harassment.

Ms. Hogan’s work in this area also includes advising boards of corporations, educational institutions, and nonprofits on #MeToo-related governance issues.
She is recognized as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA, The Legal 500 US and Benchmark Litigation, which has named her as one of the “Top 250 Women in Litigation.” In 2015, Ms. Hogan was named “Lawyer of the Year for Private Practice” for gender diversity in the profession by Chambers & Partners.   Mary Beth Hogan | Professionals | Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 

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